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Professionals say TPPA risks climate and health protection

Health professionals say TPPA risks climate and health protection

OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council warns that negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) threaten New Zealand’s ability to protect our climate and health.

The Council’s ongoing concerns are voiced in an article in NZ Doctor online today, together with 9 other health professional groups representing doctors, nurses, midwives, medical students, academics and health promoters.

The biggest threat is the ‘Investor State Dispute Settlement’ (ISDS) provisions. This mechanism allows overseas companies, including fossil fuel companies, to sue our Government if local law changes to bring down greenhouse gas emissions might affect their value or profits.

This is happening overseas already, for example, in Germany where measures to reduce the damaging effects of carbon dioxide emissions from a coal-fired power plant have been subject to an investment dispute.

‘Climate change is already contributing to the global burden of disease and premature death, with worse to come’ says Dr Alex Macmillan of OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council. ‘Climate change is a health threat for all New Zealanders, with Maori, Pacific people, children, the elderly, and low income groups likely to be the hardest hit’.

‘For a just transition to a low emissions economy, we need to put people’s health first – not the profits of overseas companies. New Zealand needs to remain a free democracy to protect our climate, our health, our country and our future’ Dr Macmillan ends.

ENDS



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